This is veering off topic, but while I have the makings of another tab-clearing news link, everyone is all atwitter about the Ryan budget deal. I haven’t been able to get all that worked up about it, to be honest, because it seemed another case of the grassroots conservatives wanting to fight on every front all of the time rather than picking battles carefully. I see this quite often in the gun issue. A lot of people got worked up over UFA renewal, but it’s the wrong battle to fight at the wrong time. The bill has nearly zero impact on every day gun rights, and for a lot of reasons I think it’s fine to kick that fight ten years down the road for now.
But if they do nothing at all, many reason, they get all the sequestration cuts. Why trade them away?
To avoid another showdown. Though I, too, would like government to shrink, I think this is the right policy trade-off; shutdowns are making it harder and harder to talk about rational budget policy in this town. And tactically, I think this is a clear win for theÂ Republican Party. The last thing they need right now is to take the focus off the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and revive Obamaâ€™s flagging poll numbers with an ill-timed budget battle. Their best shot at a budget they really like is, after all, to retake the Senate in 2014.
RTWT. From my reading of it, the Ryan deal is meant to avert another government shutdown, which the Democrats have been preparing to do. Another shutdown would be a disaster for the GOP, because as Megan says, it would take the focus off the flaming train wreck that the ACA is turned out to be. That’s why the Dems would love to precipitate another shutdown in order to distract the low-information voters from their own failures and focus everything back on how awful the GOP is.
Of course, the GOP won’t say that, because they would rather piss on your leg and tell you it’s raining, and that, I think, pretty much sums up the GOP’s problem, which is messaging and communication. That gets back to what Glenn Reynolds noted:
I think thatâ€™s right. I think the problem is that a lot of the grassroots donâ€™t trust the GOP leadership to do that. The leadership might want to think about what it can do to build such trust.
No one trusts them because a) the 1994 revolution turned into a non-revolution, and b) the GOP sucks at communicating. The Ryan deal may be necessary, but the GOP leadership would rather kick the grassroots in the teeth and offer platitudes than talk to them like actual adults. Want to understand the popularity of Chris Christie? Because he communicates, and treats voters like adults. Corbett, by contrast, just hiked my gas taxes and then has the nerve to send me a fundraising letter bragging about how he eliminated the retail gas tax (failing to mention that he accomplished this through a massive hike in the wholesale gas tax). Maybe we had to hike the gas tax. Maybe that was the only way to get a transportation bill funded. But don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Level with me. The GOP might be playing a bad hand the best they can right now, but you’d never know it, because they have no idea how to communicate to voters. If you ask me, that’s the GOP’s number one problem.